FanDuel has joined Draftkings and officially launched in the UK in a less anticipated and heralded announcement than their rivals. Interestingly FanDuel have developed a product specifically for UK players as opposed to combining customers as Draftkings have done. This could be a key difference as the 2 DFF giants battle it to for supremacy.
This tailored UK offer comes as no surprise if you are aware of the origins of FanDuel. With Scottish co-founders, FanDuel has now grown to a team of 79 employees across 3 offices both sides of the Atlantic, and now pays out over $10 million every week. This UK heritage may mean they are better placed to overcome some of the cultural difficulties that DK have faced. Lets’s find out shall we?
Signing up is a simple process.
And if you use our link, they will confirm the promo details, doubling your first deposit:
Then you will be asked if you want to set deposit and withdrawal limits which is a decent feature, before being taken to the deposit screen:
It’s a very straight forward process, without the unnecessary authentication requirements many providers now use. The only downside is the choice of payment options with card only, Visa and MasterCard for now.
Withdrawals however aren’t as straight forward with an email request needing to be submitted and it looks like you might wait 7 days to actually receive the funds into your account. This is excessive when compared to the immediacy of the deposit.
After depositing your funds you’re good to go, simply use the navigation bar at the top of the page to get to the Contests screen.
This is a stripped back offer but it does the job. You have the option on the left hand side to select from recommended contests, all contests or 50-50s. This obviously doesn’t have the customisation of DraftKings but with a sole focus on football and the Premier League, they don’t need it. It doesn’t take long to navigate the choice of contests and as FanDuel grow we assume they will offer more customisation options. The other noticeable difference, again because of the core UK focus, is the reduced number of players and pot sizes. However the upside to this is with guaranteed pots, there should be some decent overlays in the early days of FanDuel.
What I particularly like about the game choice is a seemingly even spread of multi-entry contests and single entry games. The contest offer looks geared to both the committed DFF player and the casual who can dip their toe in the water without being ambushed by someone with 20+ entries. There is also a decent spread of tournament buy-in amounts.
Select the contest name and more details will appear:
Then select the tournament entry amount on the right to be taken to the team selection screen.
Again, this is a stripped back core offer that does the job simply and efficiently. Here is the team selection screen:
Simply select the ‘+’ symbol and your player appears in your team. To deselect him click on the player and a ‘-‘ symbol appears beside the players name in the left hand pane. If you click on the players name an information graphic will appear:
However at the time of playing, the majority of players had no available information. It is the beginning of the season but some historical data would still be useful. The search box, along with player positions, are the only customisable options on display with the offer of narrowing choice by player name or team name. One issue with the search box is that once you make a selection after it, the search box resets. So if you want to repeat the search, you need to re-enter the criteria.
In terms of restrictions, you can select a maximum of 4 players from any one side. Formations are flexible, you need to select 11 players only, there are no substitutes. One GK, 3-5 defenders, 3-5 midfielders and 1-3 attackers are required. With the no substitute option it is obviously important you keep tabs on your team when line ups are announced though a positive to report is there is no captain option. The player values seem fine. You can make good teams but only use 1 elite player in each position.
Scoring is different to anything we’ve seen before, take a look below and see if you can spot it:
Points for defender clean sheets? That is a big change and we will need to play the game a few times to see if blocked shots, tackles, interceptions etc accrue enough points to validate defender values. Otherwise 15 points for a goal and 7 for an assist would seem to indicate blowing most of your budget on attacking players. Goalkeepers seem another way of getting really decent points and are probably the most important selection on your team. As said above though, we need to play this a few times to get a real sense of how it works. It’s certainly an interesting approach and thankfully doesn’t contain points for non-impact actions such as crosses.
Once you’ve selected your team, enter it at the bottom of the screen. If you’ve done it all right, you’ll see this:
However if you’ve not met the criteria, you will see this:
Which is great however there is a big ‘but’. Why aren’t these restrictions visible when you are choosing your team instead of waiting until you try to enter it. You could spend a long time, making many hard choices, be happy with your final selection and then enter it only to see this! Very frustrating.
But we like to end on a positive, we like the injury notifications beside players names and being from the UK, it is refreshing to see the home team’s name listed first!!
Along with the rest of the site the in-play offer is so easy and intuitive to use. Just click on the live tab and you will be taken to your in-running contests:
Click on the contest you’d like to see in more detail.
Very straight forward, with the table on the left and your team split screen on the right. If you’d like a breakdown of any player just click on his name:
You can also check the other teams in the table, again by simply selecting the team you are interested in:
This offer, as simple as it is, has absolutely everything you need to follow your contests each week and perhaps most importantly of all, the points updates are almost immediate. Very impressive.
This is a simple site to navigate:
There are the 5 tabs at the top and account queries next to them. To be honest, there isn’t too much added content about, no blogs, advice, forums etc. It is what it is, a basic offer but does the job.
So simple, so easy, quick and slick – it’s just like playing the desktop version. After you’ve registered you can scroll through the contests.
Choose the one you fancy and more details are available including the payout structure and the rules.
You will then be taken to your lineup page. Simply select the position you want to fill and the player list appears. Start filling your team!
Once you’ve decided, just confirm your entry:
As with the desktop version, the only downside to this whole experience is not knowing if you’ve met all the criteria until you try to confirm your team. That could be a lot of time wasted if you’ve accidentally not met the position restrictions or chose too many players from one team.
The live scoring element is effortlessly effective. Quick updates to players, your team and the table!
What more could you want!
There isn’t an abundance of information on the site so the chances are you will require some support at some stage. Click on the icon to the right of ‘How to Play’ and a menu will appear. Select ‘contact us’.
We have not yet had time to test the support function.
On first impression then, this is a less flashy, less slick operation than their rivals and their respective launches reflect this. However this shouldn’t detract from the FanDuel offer. Yes, it’s stripped back but it’s functional, easy to navigate and more importantly, specifically tailored to the UK player with the best selection of single-entry contests out there.
In terms of the in-play experience, everything updates immediately and the mobile offer just feels like an extension of the desktop version, not a second rate clone like so many are.
This game is effortlessly intuitive and the more you play it, the more you appreciate it. Highly commended and recommended!